Sunday, May 03, 2009

Prescott tells critics to leave the Labour party

This from John Prescott on-air to Charles Clarke after the latter's recent criticism of Gordon Brown:
Charles, if you are ashamed to stay in the party it's obvious what you should do, isn't it?
What an odious, contemptible thing to say to a senior member of your own party. Labour is not the North Korean communist party, it is supposedly a democratic party operating in the context of a democracy. The idea that it, or any party for that matter, should command the total unswerving loyalty of all of its members regardless of any actions of the leadership is alien to the British way of politics, and an insult to the many good men and women in the Labour movement. Prescott though is an example of a knee-jerk political tribalist. In his world anything Labour comes up with must by definition be better that anyone else, so anything other than unthinking support for Gordon Brown is tantamount to treason. He doesn't do political debate, or ideas, or strategy. He credo is evil Tories and vote for anything with a red rose attached, and that is pretty much it. Except that it wasn't: for reasons of internal party management Tony Blair gave this man real power with the bloated Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. That gave us the ruinously expensive regional structures, but that was just part of the damage this man did to our country. Now, the planning system is a bit of a dry subject, but it is really very, very important. Prescott managed to construct a system that during the longest sustained property boom since the war delivered 25% less housing than the previous Conservative government over the same period. He gave us insane complexity, know-nothing civil servants involved at every stage, huge costs to local communities and no delivery. We have sites in Basildon that should have provided homes and jobs that have gone nowhere because of that man's incompetence. He choked off supply, which forced up prices and contributed to the unsustainable property boom that has hurt our country badly. Property firms are going bankrupt, people are in negative equity, Councils are spending fortunes on crazy bureaucratic exercises that are completely disconnected from local people and we don't have the homes where we need them, that is Prescott's legacy.

But hey, let's stick a red rosette on a donkey and vote for it.

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